The Soil Moisture Experiments conducted in Iowa in the summer of 2002 (SMEX02) had many remote sensing instruments that were used to study the spatial and temporal variability of soil moisture. The sensors used in this paper (a subset of the suite of sensors) are the AQUA satellite-based AMSR-E (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer- Earth Observing System) and the aircraft-based PSR (Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer). The SMEX02 design focused on the collection of near simultaneous brightness temperature observations from each of these instruments and in situ soil moisture measurements at field- and domain- scale. This methodology provided a basis for a quantitative analysis of the soil moisture remote sensing potential of each instrument using in situ comparisons and retrieved soil moisture estimates through the application of a radiative transfer model. To this end, the two sensors are compared with respect to their estimation of soil moisture.